Brighton and Hove council has denied it halted plans to place a ten-year-old boy with gay foster parents after his Catholic mother objected.

Instead, PinkNews.co.uk understands that the gay couple decided to pull out of the plan after negative stories in the national media about them.

The boy was due to live with a gay male couple who run a hotel, but his mother, who was unable to look after him, planned to take legal action over the case, saying the child could be “encouraged” into a lifestyle which is against her beliefs.

After previously refusing to comment on the case, the council has now refuted reports it bowed to legal pressure to place the boy with foster parents of the same faith, saying: “No proposed fostering of any child to same-sex parents is being halted because of legal representations relating to sexuality or religion.

“We will not make any further comment on any issue relating to the welfare of a child in the care of the council.”

The gay couple are understood to have backed out of the fostering plans due to the negative publicity they received in the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail.

In January, Stonewall said that the coverage of a similar gay adoption story went “into new areas of nastiness.”

The case in question referred to a drug addict who had her children taken away from her. They are to be adopted by a gay couple.

The children’s grandparents hoped to adopt them but social services decided they were not suitable.

Daily Mail columnist Amanda Platell used the January case to attack gay people as inferior parents.

“It appears that social services, despite all the evidence to the contrary, still believe that all relationships are equal when it comes to raising children,” she wrote.

“Indeed, in this case they seem to have decided that a gay relationship is preferable to a couple of opposite sex. This is simply not true.”

A spokesperson for Stonewall said: “We cannot comment on individual cases but all the evidence suggests that children brought up in stable and loving lesbian, gay and bisexual households do as well if not better.

“The Platell piece goes into new areas of nastiness.

“Stonewall is deeply concerned at the homophobic tone of some of this week’s coverage.

“This is a reminder that just as we advance lesbian and gay equality, there are those who still seek to undermine it.”